Dictionary of Midwestern Literature: Volume One; the Authors

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Dictionary of Midwestern Literature: Volume One; The Authors Philip A. Greasley, General Editor. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007.

Those of us who have waited anxiously through the years for this study of Midwestern literature realize that the wait was worthwhile. Now it is here, with nearly four hundred entries surveying the lives, writings and cultures of nearly four hundred writers who lived between the two lines of mountains on the continental United States. As Phil Greasley states in is Introduction, "Underpinning this work is the belief that the literature of any region simultaneously captures the experience the worldview of its people" (1). He might have added that literature with its many faces becomes one of the most important and influential citizens of the culture in which it lives. That the many authors of the numerous contributors to this volume recognize. In a comprehensive and insightful introductory essay, David Anderson outlines the works-both major and minor-of the many people who have migrated to the Midwest, been born there and written about it as a subject, and those who though they may have deserted it always carried in their systems the cultures of the Midwest. He outlines one drive in the Midwest: "From the beginning, evolution of the Midwest has been marked by a faith in progress, an acceptance of change, a willingness-perhaps an eagerness-to move on, and by a search for success and for order and confidence in human ability" (12). …